Album Review: Tron: Legacy Reconfigured by Daft Punk
Satisfactory, Based on 4 Critics
Consequence of Sound - 72 Based on rating B
Given the name and the fact that the wildly popular duo hadn’t released new music in years, expectations were fairly high for Daft Punk‘s work on Tron:Legacy. Unfortunately, the album turned out to be a fairly typical soundtrack, which is to say that most electronic fans were somewhat underwhelmed. Now, arriving late to the party comes a remixed version of the album from some of electronic’s biggest names (all rather surprisingly sanctioned by Disney).
While Daft Punk’s moody, electro-symphonic score to Tron: Legacy captured its ambition perfectly -- and, arguably, may have been the best thing about the movie -- it didn’t quite satisfy fans looking for dancefloor movers. Tron: Legacy Reconfigured rectifies that by letting the French duo’s peers loose on the film’s music. With a varied group of artists ranging from established names (Moby, the Crystal Method, Paul Oakenfold) to up-and-comers (Com Truise, Pretty Lights), the collection offers eclectic tangents on the retro-futuristic musical world Daft Punk created.
A sad fact of Daft Punk fandom: Once exemplars when it came to making dance albums that played like pop albums, for the past five or six years the duo's often been more enjoyable once they've been remixed, or when they venture into the visual. Their last proper album, 2005's Human After All, was poorly sequenced and way too long, full of tracks that were just blandly, grindingly repetitive. It was almost anti-pop but not in a truly out-there way.
Do Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo – more widely known as Daft Punk – even care anymore? The duo’s notoriously disappointing Human After All showed a couple of French guys unsure how to top the career-defining Discovery, but their unquestionably disappointing soundtrack for Disney’s TRON reboot showed a couple of French guys who had stopped trying. Cynics might observe that it’s hard to expect new creative directions from anyone so dependent on others peoples’ music (as if nobody else had ever become wildly popular by sampling hooks wholesale). Optimists might rebut that creative stasis doesn’t necessarily precede lifting pages from the Hanz Zimmer/James Newton Howard songbook, writing one dance track that could be a C-side on Homework if C-sides existed, and calling it a day.